Boundary Disputes

Boundary Dispute Solicitors

Boundary disputes can be frustrating and expensive to resolve. Whether your dispute is straightforward or complex, our specialist property litigation team will give you honest advice about your options whilst supporting you through your legal case.

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What is a boundary?

A boundary is an imaginary line separating two or more properties. It does not exist in any physical form, although many people choose to mark their boundary with a fence or wall. 

Why do boundary disputes happen?

Most neighbours live side-by-side without any boundary problems. Sometimes, however, the neighbours have a different opinion about where the boundary lies, or they may disagree about the type or quality of boundary structure that’s being erected.

Getting caught up in a long-running boundary dispute can be stressful, and emotions can run surprisingly high when you’re not seeing eye-to-eye with your neighbour. Our property dispute lawyers focus is on helping you find a resolution that’s as fair and proportionate as possible. We have a dedicated team of boundary dispute lawyers who deal with all types of boundary, fence and hedge disputes. We work hard to settle disputes by negotiation first, to stop costs from spiralling out of control. 

How do I determine a boundary line?

The exact layout of boundaries can be surprisingly complex. Land Registry plans are not always precise and we often have to trawl through the pre-registration title deeds to find an accurate map of a boundary. 

Even then, the ‘paper’ boundary can change significantly over time by moving or replacing structures on the ground. Untangling the history of these changes is difficult, and specialist legal advice is essential for getting to the bottom of your ownership rights.  

From a practical perspective, a large proportion of disputes can be avoided by obtaining a high-quality survey to show the position of the boundary on the ground. If that’s not possible or the parties still don’t agree, we can open legal negotiations with your neighbour to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion. 

What can I do if a neighbour has removed boundary fence?

There is no obligation to mark out a boundary with walls or fences, but many homeowners choose to do so. Sadly, this everyday act can open up a number of possible disputes, such as:

  • Erecting the fence in the wrong position
  • Erecting a higher fence than usual, blocking out light to the neighbour’s home
  • Erecting a fence in breach of local regulations or a binding restriction in the title deeds
  • Installing an unsightly fence
  • Failing to keep a shared fence in good repair

When fence disputes arise, it’s important to seek a swift resolution. These types of disputes can quickly escalate out of all proportion to the value of the property. You should consider seeking expert assistance to ensure the issue is handled amicably, fairly and with minimum hassle.

What can I do if my neighbour’s hedge is too high?

Your neighbour does not usually need permission to plant a hedge in their garden. However, there are legal options to help you if the hedge grows too high and is blocking light, views or access.

The laws about hedges are complicated, and different considerations may apply depending on the type of hedge, where it is located, and whether the hedge is simply annoying or causes a threat to your property.

At Osbornes, we have extensive knowledge surrounding the more serious high-hedge disputes. We can advise of the various options open to you, including making a complaint to your local council if the hedge is a nuisance.

How to win a boundary dispute

While it is often intimidating to confront your neighbour about a problem, the first step is to try to resolve the problem amicably. If the relationship with your neighbour has broken down, then we will attempt to resolve the problem through correspondence and negotiation. Or, we may recommend mediation to help you and your neighbour understand each other’s point of view and agree a sensible plan of action.

Taking the dispute all the way to the Land Tribunal or the Court is a final resort. Costs can quickly rack up for both sides if you take the dispute to trial. This is why our approach is to consider all practical ways of resolving a dispute first. If we feel your case needs to go down the trial route, you can rest assured that we’ll fight your corner with determination.

At Osbornes Law, we can help with all types of residential boundary disputes, including: 

  • Disagreement over where a boundary lies
  • Objecting to or defending plans to build at or close to a boundary
  • Making sure a neighbour complies with their duty to repair a shared boundary
  • Injunctions to stop building work that encroaches on your land
  • Disputes over high hedges that block out light or a view
  • Putting the right Party Wall Agreements in place when doing work on a shared boundary 

Boundary disputes can have far-reaching consequences. If the matter goes to court and the decision goes against you, you may have to remove a fence, wall or building and reconstruct it in the correct position. It’s important to seek specialist legal help to resolve your dispute as quickly as possible.  

Can you sell a house with a boundary dispute?

Yes, you can sell a house with a boundary dispute, but it can complicate the process. Here are some important considerations:

  • Sellers are legally required to disclose any disputes or issues related to the property. Being upfront about the boundary dispute can help prevent future legal issues and build trust with potential buyers.
  • Be aware that a boundary dispute may deter potential buyers or reduce their confidence in the purchase. This could potentially affect the property’s market value. Be prepared to adjust the asking price to account for the unresolved dispute or present solutions to the buyers, such as covering legal costs to resolve the dispute post-sale
  • If you are concerned about the impact on the sale of your home, attempt to resolve the dispute amicably with your neighbour before listing the property.

Selling a house with a boundary dispute is feasible but requires careful handling. Work closely with your conveyancing solicitor to ensure all that you don’t get caught out.

Why choose Osbornes for your boundary dispute?

At Osbornes, as part of our property litigation team, our boundary dispute specialists have more than 40 years of experience dealing with boundary, fence and high-hedge disputes. We’re fully accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, recommended by the country’s top independent guides to the legal profession, and proudly featured in the Times Best Law Firms. By working with us, you can rest assured that we will always be there for you, fighting your corner.

To learn more, contact Osbornes’ residential boundary disputes team today for a free, no-obligation discussion.

To speak with one of our solicitors, contact us by:

  • Filling in our online enquiry form; or
  • Calling us on 020 7485 8811

Find out about services related to boundary disputes:

Licence For Alterations: Permission required from a landlord for a tenant to make changes to a property.

Party Wall Disputes: Conflicts between neighbours regarding the construction or alteration of shared walls or structures.

Right of Access Disputes: Issues regarding the legal right to pass through another’s property.

Easement Right of Way: The legal right to use a part of someone else’s land for access.

Property Ownership Disputes: Conflicts over the legal ownership or title of a property.

Commercial Property Disputes: Issues between landlords and tenants regarding rental agreements, property conditions, or lease terms.

Construction Disputes: Conflicts arising from construction projects, including contract breaches and quality of work.

Professional Negligence by Property Professionals: Claims against property professionals for failing to meet required standards of care or skill.

Contact our Boundary Dispute Solicitors Today

For a free initial conversation call 0207 485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you

    • Shilpa really helped us take charge of the situation and helped resolve this property dispute. I would not hesitate to recommend her or the team to anyone in a similar situation.

      David A, Trustpilot Review

    • On first meeting Shilpa I was sure that she understood immediately my requirements, and was sympathetic both to my financial restraints and my emotional state. She achieved everything I asked of her and proved to be invaluable, professional and efficient

      P Ashcroft, Trustpilot Review

    • At every step Shilpa alleviated any concerns and stresses we had. Always fast to respond, always professional and super knowledgeable.

      Trustpilot review

    • Shilpa has helped us through some key property litigation matters (residential and commercial) since 2014 and has delivered on every occasion. One particular issue had kept us in a state of stress and tension for almost a decade and after getting in touch with Shilpa she was able to help us bring the matter to a peaceful and successful conclusion.

      Trustpilot review

    • I received a call from Shilpa Mathuradas a couple of hours after filling the enquiry form for a callback. She actively listened to my party wall concerns responding with gentle professionalism, answering my concerns, letting me know what is and is not possible and when best to bring in a solicitor. All this within 10 minutes. Excellent.

      Trustpilot review

    • "They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."

      Chambers UK

    • Excellent in every aspect.

      Property Department Client

    • If I had another reason to have to seek legal advice again, I wouldn’t hesitate to use Shilpa, and would recommend her to anybody who needed legal advice.

      Property Litigation client

    • Shilpa was professional, realistic, and unflappable. Shilpa managed to persuade a reluctant witness to come forward to support my case. She obviously knows her subject very well.

      Property Litigation client

    • I always had full confidence in Shilpa keeping my best interests at heart. I often didn’t understand the legal language, and she would follow this up with a phone call and patiently explain.

      Property Litigation client

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